Directions : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Crude oil has had a long history, and interesting one. It is probably one single natural resource that has been instrumental in producing maximum conflicts and wars during the last century. With such a track record, it is surprising that in the given environment, where in oil prices are breaking all records, and has become the biggest cause of concern across the globe, why is it that there is silence from some parts of the world`? It is intriguing especially when some have been paying a much higher price on fuel, as compared to their poorer counterparts. It is surprising, more so, when one realizes that the number of oil producing nations is only a handful as compared to the number of oil consuming nations. While a proactive action from the mighty and powerful can bring in a huge respite for the world, why is it that they choose to be silent ? Also, keeping in mind the fact that a few nationsâ€“both powerful and weak have some of the largest unused oil reserves,their silence and lack of any serious action look all the more aberrant. Looking at the manner things are shaping up, it just cannot be ruled out that possibly these nations have a definite interest in the increasing prices of oil. The question then is what could their underlying interest be ?
In all probability, what we are seeing right now is just a precursor to the larger picture, well laid out by them may be for the good. With rising prices, the OPEC might be delighted right now, but perhaps they are unable to see what is going to hit them. For this unprecedented rise in oil is creating a most demanding environment for alternative fuels. As and when the reserves deplete and demand really grows, more than anyone else, it is OPEC that would be badly hit, much to the glee of some nations having unused reserves which have the most to gain by using blackmailing tactics. Eventually, the countries at the receiving end would be forced to create an enabling environment for alternative energy. This trend is already visible, with India showing the way with its nuclear deal and other countries dangling the carrot of complete conversion to natural gas towards other countries in order to boost their own business. By doing so they are creating a tactical pressure on countries. As they know that the further the oil prices get pushed, the more the globe would become attracted and ready for alternative and non-conventional fuel. Moreover, for many of the countries, it might become more expensive to invest in newer technologies to conform to the emission norms than to shift to alternative sources, making the market even more attractive. And it is then that the organizations which have already invested billions of dollars in alternate fuels would mop up the global energy market completely.
The second possible reason why some nations of the world are not too enthusiastic to mitigate the price of oil is because the rising oil price is perhaps one of the major deterrents to growth of other countries. Perhaps they were hand in glove in the mechanism to raise the oil price and knowing well that this would make these nations feel the pinch. And now, the rising oil prices have put these nations in a fix. As the pressure of inflationary tendencies increases these countries cannot afford either to sit back and remain entrapped in the larger conspiracy. No wonder then that these are frantically looking around the globe - especially Africa - for newer reserves ! As it is said, oil ha